Published on April 3rd, 2017 | by Joshua S Hill0
Total US Energy Production Falls For 1st Time In 6 Years
April 3rd, 2017 by Joshua S Hill
The total energy production in the United States fell for the first time in 2016 after six straight years of increases, according to new figures from the country’s Energy Information Administration.
According to new figures published by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) at the end of March, total primary energy production in 2016 measured 84.1 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), a drop of 4% from the 2015 level, and the first decline in US energy production since 2009.
Most importantly, US fossil fuel production fell 7% in 2016 over 2015 levels, primarily in the coal sector which decreased 18% and fell to its lowest level since 1978. The EIA laid part of the blame for this decline at the feet of “Relatively low natural gas prices, especially in the first half of 2016, and relatively flat electricity demand.” In addition to coal’s decline, petroleum and natural gas production both declined as well, falling 5% and 2% respectively, falling below their respective 2015 levels.
Renewable energy production increased in 2016, after a slight dip in 2015, growing by 7%, with wind energy making up almost half the increase, and solar accounting for nearly a quarter.
The EIA also pointed out that the decline in energy production coincided with an increase in the country’s energy imports and exports. Total energy net imports — after ten consecutive years of decline — increased by 6% in 2016, as the growth in gross imports outpaced the increase in gross exports. US gross energy imports increased by 7% in 2016, with most of the increase coming from additional crude oil imports, which rose 7%.
Despite the decrease in production, the country’s total energy exports also rose 7% in 2016, with petroleum product exports increasing 8%, natural gas exports increasing 30%, and crude oil exports increasing by 13%. Total coal exports declined by 19%.